Resistance to cerebrospinal fluid outflow and intracranial pressure in patients with hydrocephales after subarachnoid haemorrhage
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Resistance to CSF-outflow (Rout) and intracranial pressure (ICP) were measured in 33 patients with hydrocephalus after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Eleven patients examined between 10 to 30 days after SAH had high pressure hydrocephalus (HPH). Twenty-two patients had normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). All HPH-patients had ICP above 15 mmHg, plateau waves and B-waves, a median Rout of 59 mmHg×ml−1×min−1 (range 29–100). All NPH-patients had a normal ICP level, no plateau waves, but long periods of B-waves and a median Rout of 22 mmHg×ml−1×min−1 (range 6–47).
Of the 11 patients with HPH six were shunted and five had temporary ventricular drainage. Five patients improved and six died. Of the five survivors only one went back to work. Of the 22 NPH-patients 18 were treated with a shunt, one refused shuntoperation and three had normal Rout. Seventeen improved after shunting. At followup 12 had a normal social life, 5 lived in a nursing home and 1 was dead.
Thus, early development of hydrocephalus after subarachnoid haemorrhage is associated with a high Rout and a high ICP, whereas late (more than one month) hydrocephalus may be associated with normal ICP and high Rout. Patients with NPH and a high Rout have frequent B-waves and should be shunted. Patients with a long interval from subarachnoid haemorrhage to the diagnosis of hydrocephalus often have a normal ICP, low frequency of B-waves, normal CSF-dynamics and need no shunting.
KeywordsSubarachnoid haemorrhage resistance to CSF-outflow conductance to CSF-outflow CSF-dynamics intracranial pressure high pressure hydrocephalus normal pressure hydrocephalus CT-scanning
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